I love food processors. It makes throwing together delicious meals super easy. I created this chimichuri black bean recipe out of my love of fresh ingredients and easy preparations. Once the chimicurri is prepared, it only take 10 minutes to put this soup together and 30 to let it cook though you’d never know it from the flavor it packs.
It’s winter, which means it’s cold, everyone is sick and it’s time for some hearty chili. It’s really hard to screw up chili, you just need to throw a bunch of ingredients in a big pot, put some spice on it and let it cook for a bit and ta da! Chili. I’ve been making chili for so many eons that I rarely experiment with variations but today I felt inspired! I wanted something super robust and chock-full of nutrition so I incorporated pumpkin and quinoa into my basic recipe. The results are mouth-watering. Enjoy!
It’s fall, it’s time to eat potatoes and root vegetables with every meal. I was craving potato soup this morning but didn’t feel like following my potato jalapeño soup recipe plus I’m out of jalapeños (sinful, I know!) I was also feeling lazy so I wanted the soup to make itself. That’s not too much to ask for, right?! I decided to roast Yukon potatoes with onions and a head of garlic and then puree the whole thing and add milk. Easy, right? So easy.
I used to live in cold, blistery Wisconsin back in 2000 (in Madison, one of the greatest cities in America). I was only vegetarian at the time and the stereotype is true: Wisconsinites love dairy. I had never in my life consumed so much dairy and it never occurred to me that it was hurting me or the animals. My friend Kim used to make this mouth-watering Mexican Corn Chowder that I would salivate over simply by thinking of it. I went vegan in 2004 and lost the ability to recreate her magical soup. I tried with soy milk, I tried with using thickeners, I tried a ton of different ways but nothing was able to capture the creaminess of the original. Enter So Delicious Coconut Creamer.
Every once in a great while you find yourself with leftover rice in the fridge but no craving for a stir-fry. What is one to do?! Why create a soup, of course! Most of my recipes are born out of random ingredients laying around in my fridge, like half a can of tomato paste, a handful of fresh herbs, a glass of wine (the sin!) or in this case, leftover cooked rice. I looked around and saw the leftover rice, some cooked chick peas, a small can of tomato sauce and the squeaky wheels started turning in my head. I happened to be in Puerto Rico at the time and had access to my favorite herb on the planet, culantro (known as recao in Puerto Rico and ngò gai in Vietnam). Though different than its Puerto Rican incarnation, culantro is more fragrant that cilantro, with a pungent aroma and taste. I was able to locate some at a Vietnamese market in Portland labeled as “ngò gai” and “Vietnamese parsley”. I assure you the search is worth it. You can substitute cilantro in this recipe if culantro is not available.
I love making extravagant meals as much as the next person but every once in awhile something simple, warm and delicious is all I crave. I created this recipe to be the least amount of work with the most amount of flavor using staples I always keep stocked. I use diced tomatoes with basil and oregano instead of adding my own herbs in order to keep it simple and consistent. You are welcome to used plain diced tomatoes and add your own fresh or dried herbs. This soup comes together really easily and feels warm and comforting after a long day. Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread.
Italian Peasant Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
One medium onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1/2 can tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup green beans or peas
1/4-1/2 tsp salt & 15 cranks fresh pepper
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
1) Warm olive oil in a large soup pot.
2) Add onions, garlic, celery and salt. Saute until fragrant and translucent.
3) Add tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Bring to a light boil.
4) Add potatoes then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes.
5) Add the green beans or peas and simmer until potatoes are tender.
6) Add the rest of the spices according to taste. Serve hot.
Chick Peas and lentils are easily two of my favorite legumes. I love their versatility in soups, pasta dishes, over rice, pureed for dips and in salads plus they lend themselves well to a variety of herbs and spices. Putting these two magical legumes together in a single dish may be the best idea I’ve had all year. The aromatic spices and tomato base of this soup are a perfect stage for these complementary beans to shine together. This rich dish could easily be served over rice though I found it to be ample and satisfying by itself.
Moroccan Chick Pea and Lentil Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
Pinch of saffron thread
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
8 cups of water or vegetable broth
2 cups of chick peas, cooked
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)
1) In a large soup pot warm olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and celery andsautéuntil halfway cooked. Add ginger, jalapeño, saffron, turmeric, cumin and ground cinnamon and sauté until onions are translucent and aromatic.
2) Add tomatoes and tomato paste and let simmer for a few minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and sugar.
3) Add lentils, water or vegetable broth and bring to a light boil.
4) Reduce heat and partially cover. Cook until lentils are al dente, about 30-40 minutes.
5) Add chick peas and garlic clove and simmer until all flavors are developed, about 30 more minutes.
6) Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Add a generous amount of fresh pepper and adjust salt according to personal taste.
7) Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Servings: Six hearty bowls
I’m convinced that there is no wrong way to make a soup. I rarely start out with a clear intention in mind but as I start chopping and picking ingredients out of the fridge my vision starts to come together. I often post my soup recipes so I have a rough guideline to follow the next time I’m craving the main ingredient i.e black beans, lentils, chick peas, etc… yet I rarely follow a recipe exactly as it’s more important to me to use up what is available and fresh in my fridge. This latest creation was warming and full flavored, a perfect rainy day soup. I experimented with pureeing it halfway down and then adding whole black beans and also pureeing the whole thing then adding more beans and both were delicious. The consistency will be entirely up to you as I think it works any way you choose.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp cumin
1 large jalapeño or serrano pepper, diced
1 4oz can green chilies
2 1/2 cups plus 1 cup of cooked black beans
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
4 cups of water or vegetable stock
juice of 1/2 lime
handful cilantro, chopped
sea salt and fresh pepper
1 cup frozen corn (optional)
1) Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cumin and saute until onions are translucent.
2) Add hot peppers and chilies and stir together for 2 minutes.
3) Add 2 1/2 cups of black beans, tomato paste, cayenne, water or vegetable stock and bay leaf.
4) Bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
5) Remove bay leaf. Add lime, salt, pepper and cilantro.
6) Puree according to preferred consistency. Add remaining cup of cooked beans and corn (if using) and simmer for another few minutes.
7) Serve with chopped green onions and tortilla chips.
So many of my recipes are born out of an abundance of ingredients I have to use before they go bad and/or leftovers that need to be combined to make a new meal. I happened to have an open container of tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, some leftover brown rice and a craving for soup and thus this creation was born. This particular combination was so warming and delicious, I plan to make it all winter long as it was simple, quick and satisfying.
Spicy Tomato Cilantro Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 celery sticks including the leaves
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp of evaporated cane juice
2 cups of rice milk (or dairy-free milk of choice)
large pinch of paprika
large pinch of cayenne
fresh pepper and sea salt
2 cups of cooked brown rice (optional)
a bunch of chopped cilantro
Warm olive oil in a soup pot and add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute on medium heat with a bit of salt until fragrant and softened. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and cook partially covered for at least 10 minutes or until flavors are combined. Using an immersion blender, puree soup contents until smooth. Add rice milk, lower heat and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add dried spices and rice, if using. Cook until warmed through. Add cilantro and serve.
Servings: 5-6 large bowls
Prep and Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes
I had a version of this soup many years ago before deciding to become a vegetarian. It’s comforting, easy to make and a complete meal. Cooking the noodles along with the soup instead of separately gives the soup a naturally thick consistency.
Lentil Vermicelli Soup
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, quartered lengthwise then chopped
1 stalk of celery, cut into long thirds then chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of dried rosemary
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 cups of lentils, sorted and rinsed
7 cups of vegetable broth or water with 2 bouillon cubes
1/3 cup of vermicelli noodles (spaghetti will work), snapped into 1-2 inch pieces
2-3 tsp of sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup of fresh parsley (optional)
1. Warm olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat
2. Add onion, carrot and celery until fragrant (about 5 minutes)
3. Add rosemary, garlic and a few cranks of fresh pepper and saute for a minute or two
4. Add broth, lentils and bay leaf
5. Bring to boil and then simmer, covered for about 30 minutes (when lentils become soft) stirring occasionally
6. Add 2 tsp of salt and more fresh pepper, bring soup to a boil again and add noodles. Reduce heat and cook until noodles become al dente (about 10-12 minutes)
7. Remove from heat, pull out bay leaf and stir in fresh parsley
8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
Total Prep and Cooking Time: about 45 minutes to 1 hour
Servings: 4-6 bowls